I don't always love being a mom. Gasp! I know, I said it out loud. But it’s exhausting, it's terrifying, and it's a thankless fucking job. Sometimes I could use more than just a "bathroom break, “ and I could definitely always use more than just some sugar in my coffee (please send whiskey). Now I love my children very much, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to googling grade-school dormitories. I have two boys, Kaden and Shane. Kaden, lover of all things sports, is a fiercely independent 11-year-old. And Shane, an imaginative 7-year-old, is jam packed with as much silly as you can take. Maybe more. Like any household with kids, we have our fair share of fights, messes, and mayhem. And then there are some days I wonder if the folks over at Mommy Headquarters are dropping serious mother-loads on me when they need a good laugh, which seems to be often.
By the last day in December, I had developed an eye twitch, microwaved my coffee so many times it was radioactive, and, gun to my head, couldn’t tell you what day of the week it was. I had experienced the same exact series of events every day for an eternity when it I suddenly stumbled upon something different. Today... today someone shit in a cup.
"Oh my god. What is this? Is this POOOOP?!" I heard the boy's bare feet begin to sprint across the hardwood floor.
"What!? Where!? Can I see!?" Their voices were full of excitement.
"This is not cool. This is gross! Who did this!?"
"Not me," they both insisted.
"Neither one of you did this? So, I guess it was me or dad. Or did someone break in our house, poop in a cup, and then leave?" They both stared back at me with grins on their faces and no answers to my questions. "Tell me who did this right now or you're both in trouble."
Kaden's face turned from grin to grimace, "It wasn't me! It was probably Shane."
"No, it wasn't! Shut up Kaden!"
"You shut up!"
"Both of you, stop saying shut up." I was getting nowhere, and the shit-cup was about to start a shit-storm. "Forget it. Both of you go back to what you were doing. When I find out who did this, you will be in serious trouble."
I dumped the poop in the toilet and threw the cup in the trash. My face would be twisted in disgust for the rest of the day, occasionally interrupted by shrugs of bewilderment. I thought about submitting my two-weeks-notice to Mommy Headquarters as I walked out the door to hide in my car for 5 minutes (the bathroom had become a trigger). As I shut my driver's side door I could hear the end of Hotel California playing in my head, "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave." A solid reminder from my subconscious that I couldn't quit; this wasn't that kind of job.
Just as I started to laugh at myself, I was startled by a hand banging on the window. It was Shane.
“Mom! Kaden threw a Lego at my head."
The disgruntled momployee in me wanted to ask, "But, did you die?" Instead, I rolled down my window, chuckling to myself, and said, "Next time, duck."
"Alright, I'm coming." I turned the car off and headed back to the grind (I needed to microwave my coffee again anyway).
As I stood in front of the microwave one final time, I imagined myself vacationing on a remote island. A place where all the cups were full of margaritas and the only thing full of shit was the bartender who insisted he'd "need to see some ID." I didn't love being a mom that day but adding this to the list of things I'd forgive and forget did reaffirm my depth of my love for my boys. There was no question, my cup runneth over.